Brighton and Hove City Council is to cut down trees infected with Dutch elm disease

A COUNCIL is undertaking ‘urgent’ work to cut down trees infected with a deadly fungus.

Brighton and Hove City Council will remove 12 Dutch elm disease-infected elm trees from the grounds of Downs View Life Skills College on Old London Road.

A council spokesman said that after a “thorough” inspection, removing the trees was “the only option” due to the level of infection.

It is the third summer in a row that the city’s elm trees have been hit by the disease at very high levels.

Work to remove the trees is scheduled for September 1st and 2nd.

A council spokesman stressed the importance of removing all infected wood from felling sites to prevent further spread.

“We identified an issue this summer where diseased elm wood was being left behind on a construction site and we are investigating with the company involved,” he said.

“All professional tree contractors should advise local residents on the proper way to deal with infected elms.”

The Argus: Diseased Elms in Patcham will be felled next weekDiseased Elms in Patcham will be felled next week

Councilwoman Elaine Hills, a member of the Environment, Transportation and Sustainability Committee, said the loss of the trees was “very sad”.

“It is very sad that we are losing more and more of our beloved trees to Dutch elm disease,” she said.

“Unfortunately our only option is to remove all 12 trees to stop the further spread of the infection.

“It is the third summer in a row that we are seeing very high levels of Dutch elm disease and it is devastating to see it having such an impact on the city again.

“Our arborists are all experts in protecting the Brighton and Hove elm trees and it is vital that we act as quickly as possible to stem the spread of the infection.

“It is critical that we do everything we can to conserve the city’s tree population and reduce the impact on biodiversity from trees lost to disease. That’s why we plant thousands of young trees in the city every year.

“If you’re concerned about an elm, get in touch with the team to let them know.”

Elms remain the dominant tree throughout the city, with an estimated growing population of more than 17,000.

And every summer, the community’s arborist team faces a citywide “battle” against the tiny beetle that carries the deadly Dutch elm disease fungus.

One of the most common ways for a tree to become infected is through the breeding of beetles on elm logs stored in the area.

The council has asked residents not to buy wood for winter fuel if the supplier cannot guarantee that the wood is not elm.

It has also asked people not to bring elm wood into town to use as garden ornaments, seating or anything else.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s arboriculture team offer a free inspection of firewood and other timber.

If the wood is elm, it will be discarded and a similar amount made available to residents free of charge.

The council has also urged residents to let it know of any elm trees they spot that have leaves turning from green to yellow or brown or that look burned in spring, and to report any dead trees.

If anyone is concerned about an elm, email Brighton and Hove City Council is to cut down trees infected with Dutch elm disease

Fry Electronics Team

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